24-year-old Simran Gill from West London battled depression and a debilitating illness to be selected out of over 10,000 girls to become a finalist for the official Miss England 2011 contest.
Simran is very new to the world of modeling and beauty contests with this contest actually being her first venture. She was encouraged by family and friends to enter Miss England as way to get her to breakout of a difficult period in her life. Almost 6 years ago Simran was hit with a mysterious illness that caused extreme pain in her muscles and bones and forced her to leave her job in Investment Banking in Canary Wharf. The pain intensified and there have been days when she hasn’t been able to move or talk. She went from doctor to doctor and was told it was all in her head. After conducting her own research, she discovered that she was suffering from an incurable illness called Fibromyalgia, a muscle disorder and is now receiving therapeutic treatments to ease the pain. Wanting more from her life and not letting her illness get the better of her Simran is continuously working to forget the pain and fulfill her goals.
“I want to show people out there that no matter what happens to you, life goes on and you have to move with it. You have to keep going, push yourself and you will reach the goals and dreams you want. So I entered Miss England to prove to myself and others that anything possible as long as you put your mind to it.” Says Simran.
After submitting her entry earlier this year, Simran came top 3 in a public vote and was entered into the semi-finals. She then went onto win the Miss Asian Model contest in mid-June and secure a place in the finals.
Simran hopes to take home the crown at the finals and go on to represent England and British-Asians at the Miss World contest. The Miss England 2011 finals take place on 18th and 19th July 2011 where 60 contestants will be competing over a number of stages for the coveted Miss England title.
One stage is Miss Eco. All national finalists must either create a dress from recycled materials, borrow one from a relative or buy it from a charity shop. They will each showcase their creations on the first night of the national final. The award will go to the girl who has the best Eco friendly outfit in the Eco fashion show. The winner of this award will be fast tracked through to the final 15. For this round, Simran and her sister are making a 1950’s inspired dress from scraps of cloth and crisp packets. The dress will pay homage to war veterans, those who lost their lives and her Grandfather who served in World War II.
The Swimwear round has be been replaced by Sportswear. Each contestant has to complete a 'Boot Camp' style fitness day, however as Simran suffers from a medical condition she will not be able to compete at the level of others but vows to do the best she can.
The final and most anticipated round is Eveningwear. Designer Summaya Darr from Asiana Magazine will be designing Simran’s outfit, which is being kept a secret until the night. Others helping and sponsoring Simran’s campaign are make-up artist Jazz (jazzmakeupartist.com) and photography team Sukh and Mindy (sukhandmindy.com).
A beauty with brains and compassion, Simran has a degree in Counselling and Social Policy. From a young age she has been volunteering including work with the Cheetham Hill Advice Centre helping those with family pressures, welfare and benefits and housing issues. She has also been working with the Drugs, Alcohol Action Programme based in Southall providing support and advice to those with substance abuse problems. She has played a pivotal role in helping school and college students in her local area learn more about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.
Supporters of Simran can help her secure a place in the top 15 at the finals and bring her another step closer to the title. A public vote starts on 1st July and ends on the 18th at 5pm. The contestant with the highest votes will go straight to the top 15 on the night and a step closer to winning the Miss England 2011 title!
To vote for Simran Gill SMS 08AsianModel to 84205. To vote from a landline, dial 0901 656 1599 and then enter 08 when prompted. Full details available on www.missengland.info
Official Miss England website:
Simran Gill on Facebook: